Stanka Gjurić is a poetess from Croatia. She started to write poems when she was nine years old. To date, Stanka has published ten books.
In addition to many interests (acting, TV journalism), she has entered the world of film making since 2006, gaining worldwide acclaim. She writes her own scripts and directs and edits her own films. Her columns (advice on love and essays) have been published in many dailies and weeklies.
Stanka is a member of the Croatian Writers’ Association and the Croatian Freelance Artists’ Association. A native of Čakovec, she has been living in Zagreb since 1991.
In Rovinj I often find a scene from my frequently recurring dream. The same street, houses, view of the water between the walls from the window of my unreachable, undestined home. The pain derived from the noesis, from the confrontation with the fact that such a thing somewhere truly exists, with the truth that is, at the same time, equally elusive. I cannot stop thinking of that sea as being accidentally thrown into the cleft stick bounded by bricks, with the stairs which tumble into its steel blue.
PARENTS (a dream)
I am somewhere at the seaside. The island of Krk, or Rijeka. Perhaps a disguised Zagreb, the stairs descend down into the centre of the city which is surrounded by walls. In it are beautiful parks, narrow stone streets, the sea, visible still only in my thoughts. In my dream I am dreaming about my father who is approaching me. Youthful and merry, he embraces me. I am overwhelmed by immense joy. Then I wake up in that dream, from the dream. The following morning I meet my mother in the street, who is walking slowly and with a stagger, her head bent and somewhat absent-mindedly, dragging her wheeled suitcase behind her. I am surprised to see her. She did not say she would come. She did not call on me. Or I did not call on her for a long time and she was worried. For two or even three days: I forgot. “Mum, what are you doing here?” I ask her, amazed, while she, with that sad, listless expression on her face responds: “As your father is on a business trip, I have come to see you so that I wouldn’t be on my own.”
“What did you say?” – I ask her, not believing what I have heard about Dad.
“Dad is on a business trip, I’ll be here till he returns,” – she utters, still without looking into my eyes, slightly absently. I want to tell her that Dad has not been with us for a long time, but I become quiet just in time. I accept her illusion, wishing to believe in it myself. Suddenly,
I say: “I can hardly wait for him to come back.”
She finds accommodation near the house where I stayed. When I visit her the next morning, as I have to leave, I want to invite her to come with me. I find her curled up in the small room so cramped for space that only a bed can fit into it. She is lying there, tiny, frail (the exact opposite of what she is in reality), and is sleeping. She is dozing or sleeping. It is the early afternoon, and she is still sleeping. What is it with her?
“Mum…” I turn to her, “I should leave. Let’s go together, don’t stay here on your own.”
She refuses to leave. She prefers staying. She wants the sea. She is still somehow apathetic. She speaks as if in a dream. As if she were the entire time – since she arrived, with her eyes open, like a sleepwalker – walking and dreaming. I leave, sit in someone’s car and then I remember: I have left my shoes at my friends’ house. In fact, I have been barefoot all the time, but, until that moment, I have not noticed it at all. Only at that moment has it become strange to be barefoot. I set off to those friends’ house, but…, I don’t remember if I found them and took them, those shoes of mine. I don’t think I did. I think I continued to tread barefoot.
© Translated by Mrs. Lada Rebernjak
Published with the permission of Stanka Gjurić